By: Sade Nicholson
Being born and raised in the church, I’ve seen a lot of trends and religious movements come and go. Some good and some questionable. But none heightened my sensitivity to its effect on the body of Christ, as the “Name it, Claim it” era. This era left an alarming amount of Christians frustrated and confused because it essentially accused the poor, sick, single and barren of being faithless. It took faith from being attached to the word of God and our works to merely our words. Because this concept was taught through incomplete thoughts, faulty contextual scriptural references and to the beat of emotional response, it spread like wild fire. But instead of being aglow with faith, many became and still are, burnt out of faith, with a dry mouth. “Name it, Claim it” unfortunately caused people to dismiss the will of God for their lives and magnify their own narrow, self-centered and self-seeking, wills, desires and questionable motives, through claims and declarations.
Now don’t get me wrong, I fully stand behind agreeing with the word of God and what He’s already said concerning me. But notice who’s words they are, God’s. Not mine. I cannot create, claim or declare manifestation of anything apart from God’s word. I can hear you arguing the point now, well, God created the world with words and we are made in His image. Both points are true. However, they are not completely contextually sound.
John1:1 says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” The reason God could speak the world into existence is because He was and is the word of God! I’ll tell you what really tripped my up, early on, in my walk with the Lord. “Call those things that are not, as though they were!” I heard this over and over and over as a child and even as an adult. So I did it! Walked around telling stuff to move and declaring that I was a debt free, married, stress-free, illness free, clear skinned, 36/34/36, millionaire! Little did I know that this scripture reference was talking about God!
Romans 4:17 “As it is written, I have made thee a Father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God who quickened the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.” Shocked? So was I. But once I read the reference of this scripture, Genesis 17:5, I understood it. God Himself, called Abraham what he had already made him to be, not something random that Abraham decided to be.
During this “Name it, Claim it” era, positive confession seemed to replace prayer. Christians were and are no longer asking God for things. If only our positive confession were faith filled confessions! This would mean they would have to come from God and His word and not just our somewhat “good moral conscience“. We’ve taken on an arrogance and what I believe to be, a disrespectful attitude towards the Father. We treat Him more like a genie than the King. A genie is an Islamic mythological being that takes orders as it is summoned. So, not only are we incorporating a totally different cultural and religious aspect into our lives, but we switched roles completely! How did God become the one that has to obey our orders? When did we stop asking and start ordering? The answer is when we started incorporating “quick fixes” of control into our sermons and consequently our prayers.
1 John 3:22 (AMP) says: “And we receive from Him whatever we ask, because we [watchfully] obey His orders [observe His suggestions and injunctions, follow His plan for us] and [habitually] practice what is pleasing to Him.”
Now, since we know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God
(Romans 10:17), this scripture alone should ignite your faith! I can expect to receive what I ask for if I am obeying God and doing what is pleasing to Him, in the area that I’m am praying about. This is a generic scripture, for lack of a better description, that has to have specific application. So, if you’re praying and asking God to bless you finances, you have to be obeying Him in the area of finances to receive that blessing. If you’re praying and asking God to bless or fix a relationship, you have to be obeying Him as it pertains to properly relating to that person. If you’re praying or asking God about a career move, you have to be adhering to Ecclesiastes 5:3, acknowledging that a dream comes with much effort and striving to be like Jesus in John 5:30 knowing that you can do nothing of your own accord. So, it’s not about “Naming it and Claiming it”. It’s about finding the promise in the word, obeying the requirement attached and patiently watching the Lord prove Himself in your life!
Understand, that most of our words are of no effect because they are in the wrong environment. The Bible says in James 1:6 (AMP) “Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering.” So your words have to be IN the environment of faith. And because we often rant, in prayer and “positive confession”, out of fear of failure and lack, if we’re honest, our words aren’t always full of faith. So why not use His words! The faith that is built in us through the word of God alone, puts a demand on our request made to the Father. When I think of James1:6, IN faith, I imagine a jar full of soil and a seed (request) buried within. When you look at a seed you see a coat. Inside that seed coat is the embryo, an immature plant with all the parts of an adult plant. Notice that seeds can only germinate (manifest its inward contents) in the right environment. So, just like seeds laying on a table will not take root, our words, apart from the belief and obedience, to the word of God, are null and void. The oxygen (faith), in the soil (the word), puts a demand on the seed (request), providing energy for the contents of the seed to start working! So align your request with God’s word, your desires with His will and be ever respectful concerning His sovereignty. This will take you from frustration with your plans to peace in His. Be encouraged.